VOLUNTEER FOR A DAY – CIUDAD VIEJA / SAN LORENZO EL CUBO

VOLUNTEER FOR A DAY – CIUDAD VIEJA / SAN LORENZO EL CUBO

$25.00 – $35.00

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

DESCRIPTION

Volunteer for a day in one of Niños de Guatemala’s school and discover the everyday work of the NGO and its impact on the students and communities, while helping us make a difference! With a member of the Volunteer Team, you’ll catch a chicken bus, learn about daily life while traveling to the school, and be fully immersed in the NGO and its schools by volunteering in your own classroom.

Niños de Guatemala and Our Communities
Your volunteer experience begins with an exciting start: a ride on the colorful and chaotic chicken bus, an experience you cannot skip when if you want to understand Guatemalan everyday life. After a short bus ride, you’ll walk through a local town to the NDG school where you’ll be volunteering and learn about life there and Guatemala in general. Upon arrival to the school, your experience will begin with a tour where you’ll learn about the NGO, its history and the work being done to break the cycle of poverty here in Guatemala.

Classroom Assistance
After learning about the day to day work of the NGO, you’ll be fully immersed into the schools by being paired with your own teacher and class to assist throughout the school day. As a volunteer you will assist with tasks beneficial to both the students and teachers which may include: assisting with the preparation of classroom materials, providing support in an English or Computing class, and helping in the kitchen during snack time. During recess, you can play and interact with the kids as well.

Local Lunch
After a rewarding morning of volunteering, you’ll be treated to a local lunch where the Volunteer Team will join you to reflect on your experience, explain ways you can stay involved in the work of the NGO and answer any questions you may have.

Included

  • Transport
  • Volunteer Team Support
  • Lunch

What to Bring

  • Wear clothing appropriate for a Guatemalan school environment (covered shoulders and legs above the knee)
  • Wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes
  • Bottle of water
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Pacaya Volcano Hike

PACAYA VOLCANO HIKE

$50.00 – $90.00

Pacaya Volcano Hike: An intermediate hike of the most active volcano in Guatemala. Learn about the history & striking landscape of Pacaya with hot-spots, cooled lava chambers and streams, and volcano-toasted marshmallows, a packing list must!

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

DESCRIPTION

PACAYA VOLCANO HIKE:
If it’s not already, hiking a volcano should be on your bucket list. The intermediate Pacaya volcano hike provides a unique experience that is doable for everyone (if needed, by horse). A one to two hour hike will take you to the lava fields near the top of the Pacaya. Here, you will get to experience one of the most active volcanoes in Guatemala. On a clear day, you will see the surrounding volcanoes and watch Pacaya erupt. In the lava fields, you can feel the natural heat produced by the volcano and even roast marshmallows above the cracks between the lava rocks – an experience unlike any other.

Volcán de Pacaya
The Pacaya volcano is 2,552 meters (8,373 feet) high. Due to its frequent eruptions, a lava field formed near the top of the volcano. Since its first eruption that took place over 23,000 years ago, the volcano has been erupting almost continuously. Currently, eruptions vary from small ash plumes to more expressive explosions at the crater. If you are lucky, you might even see lava flowing down the volcano.

The Hike
The tour starts with a 1.5 hour’s drive from Antigua to the volcano park entrance from where the hike begins. This is an intermediate hike and doable by most hikers however locals offer the option to continue the climb on horseback if required (not included). The hike will take 1 to 2 hours, depending on the fitness level of your group, and incorporates various breaks for resting and photos. Reaching the lava field, you will have climbed around 500 meters (1,500 feet) in elevation, offering impressive views of the surrounding areas and nearby volcanoes. After taking in the surrounding views, you’ll explore the lava fields, where you can feel the heat of the lava stones and roast marshmallows above the heat vents. The hike down is easier and faster and after reconvening at the park entrance, you will return to Antigua.

Included

  • Round-trip Transport (private or collective depending on booking type)
  • Professional bilingual guide
  • Local guide
  • Marshmallows
  • Entrance fee of the park

What to bring

  • Decent, closed-toe hiking shoes
  • Warm layers (jacket/sweater/vest)
  • Water (1 to 2 liters)
  • Snacks or a packed lunch
  • Sun and rain protection (Sunscreen, hat, rain jacket)
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ACATENANGO VOLCANO HIKE

ACATENANGO VOLCANO HIKE

$70.00 – $90.00

Acatenango Volcano Hike – ACATENANGO VOLCANO: A challenging full-day or overnight hike of the sleeping Acatenango Volcano. Experience three different microclimates, impressive eruptions of the nearby Fuego volcano, and life above the clouds. An unforgettable and rewarding experience!
ACATENANGO VOLCANO HIKE:
Hiking Acatenango is a “must” activity in Guatemala, and you will discover why! This challenging and beautiful hike offers the exploration of three different microclimates and astonishing views of nearby Agua and Fuego volcanoes. Fuego’s eruptions create breathtaking ash plumes and blasts during the day and lava flows and ‘fireworks’ at night – an unforgettable sight. Bookable as a full-day or overnight hike, participants are accompanied by experienced local guides. This is an experience you cannot miss.

Volcán de Acatenango
Acatenango is the third highest volcano in Guatemala, with a summit at 3,976 meters (13,045 feet). The volcano has two peaks, Pico Mayor and Yepocapa and is close by active volcano Fuego. Acatenango offers a safe location to observe the impressive eruptions and explosions of Fuego. On the volcano, four different types of vegetation and microclimates can be found, which allows for an interesting and alternating hike.

Local, Experienced Guides
For this specific tour, Niños de Guatemala works with an experienced association of local guides that specializes in volcano hikes and share our goal of empowering people and breaking the cycle of poverty here in Guatemala. The guides have all had first aid training, speak relevant English, are certified by the Guatemalan tourism board, and all perform their job with passion and dedication to high quality service. Using their proceeds of the volcano tours, the association supports the communities that live on the sides of the Acatenango volcano. Over the years they have set up community projects supporting education, empowerment, local law enforcement, safety, the environment, first aid and nutrition.

The Hike
The hike begins with pick up your accommodation at 7:00AM for transport to the community of San Jose Calderas where you will stop at the local guide office to enjoy a local breakfast, receive more information about the trek, meet your guides, and get ready for the hike. Around 10:30AM, you’ll head to the trail and begin climbing Acatenango. With regular breaks, you can enjoy the four different types of vegetation and three microclimates that you’ll pass during your hike to the base camp. About halfway through the climb, there will be a lunch break. After lunch hiking continues and the last stretch to reach base camp at 3,600 meters is tough, but rewarded with a comfortable resting place with astonishing views of the Fuego volcano! For the one-day hike, after enjoying a rest and taking in the views, you’ll descend back down the volcano and return to Antigua. For those that choose the overnight option, the basecamp will be already set up, so you don’t have to do anything bunjoy yourself. You’ll enjoy a warm dinner prepared on the campfire by your guides and, Mother Nature permitting, incredible eruptions and lava flows from Fuego. After getting some sleep, we awake before dawn and at 4:15AM leave to hike the last 300 meters of Acatenango. After a 1.5 hour’s hike, you’ll reach the 3,976 meter high summit to watch the sunrise. Another impressive sight! After enjoying sunrise, you’ll descend to base camp (about 30 minutes) where you will have your breakfast and then begin the descent down the volcano (about 2.5 more hours). You can expect to arrive back in Antigua around 12:30PM.

Included

  • Round-trip transport
  • Local guides
  • 4 Meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Day 1; breakfast on Day 2
  • Set-up base camp at 3,600 m (tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag)
  • Park entrance fee

What to bring

  • Decent hiking shoes (must have adequate tread and support)
  • A decent hiking pack, saving space for the additional food you will carry (1 lunch and 1 breakfast)
  • Warm layers of clothing (it gets close to 0 degrees Celsius at the top)
  • Sun protection
  • A waterproof jacket and backpack cover in case of rain
  • Snacks (energy bars, granola, trail mix, etc.)
  • Water (3 – 4 liters)
  • Camera
  • Headlamp/flashlight (for morning hike up to the summit)

A full packing list will be provided upon booking. There will be the possibility to rent warm coats, walking sticks, and additional warm clothing like hats and gloves.

Schedule
This tour can be booked throughout the week with departure at 7:00AM from Antigua.

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ATITLAN 2 OR 3 DAY TOUR

ATITLAN 2 OR 3 DAY TOUR

$129.00 – $297.00

ATITLAN 2 OR 3 DAY TOUR – INDIVIDUAL OR SMALL GROUP TRIP (1-4 PARTICIPANTS):
Perfect for individuals, pairs, and small groups, our 3 day Lake Atitlan Tour will show you the best the Lake has to offer. You will relax alongside Lake Atitlán, take in the overwhelming sights, participate in unique artisan workshops and experience Mayan culture by visiting four very distinct Mayan Villages found on the banks of the lake.

ATITLAN 2 DAY TOUR – LARGE GROUP TRIP (5+ PARTICIPANTS): Perfect for groups, our 2 day Lake Atitlan Tour will immerse you in natural beauty and the Mayan culture. You will visit the remainders of the last capital of the Kaqchikel kingdom, the Iximche ruins; relax alongside Lake Atitlán; and take in the overwhelming sights, and experience Mayan culture by visiting four very distinct Mayan Villages found on the banks of the lake.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

DESCRIPTION

ATITLAN 2 DAY TOUR

Come with us on our Lake Atitlán Tour and discover beautiful nature and the history of the ancient Mayan community. You will visit the remainders of the last capital of the Kaqchikel kingdom, the Iximche ruins; relax alongside Lake Atitlán; and take in the overwhelming sights, and experience Mayan culture by visiting four very distinct Mayan Villages found on the banks of the lake. Many visitors regard Lake Atitlán as the most beautiful lake they have ever seen, or possibly even the most beautiful site all together.

Lake Atitlán
After a 3 hour’s drive, you will arrive at Lake Atitlán called “the closest thing to Eden on earth” by Lonely Planet. Lake Atitlán, a crater lake formed around two million years ago, is nestled between three majestic volcanoes (Atitlán, Tolimán and San Pedro), mountains, and twelve different Mayan villages.

Mayan community
In addition to beautiful nature, the surroundings of Lake Atitlán offer many possibilities for cultural activities. The Mayan community found at the lake hasmany unique indigenous villages that are all worth exploring individually. Each village differs in size and traditions. On this tour, we will show the variety by visiting four: Panajachel, San Antonio Palopó, San Juan La Laguna, and Santiago Atitlán.

Panajachel, also known as Pana, the most popular and accessible of the villages, is where the night’s accommodation is located. Pana offers natural beauty, easy travel connections, and a great base for exploring the surrounding Mayan villages. You will enjoy lunch with a view here and have plenty of time to explore the town and shop for some nice souvenirs that are much cheaper here than in Antigua.

On the first day, you will visit the village of San Antonio Palopó where you can discover an authentic Mayan community. Almost all locals wear the traditional ‘trajes’ and speak the local Mayan languages. We’ll travel by bus to this Mayan village for a ceramic workshop where you will meet local Mayan artisans, learn about ceramic production and participate by painting your own ceramic!

On day two, the tour continues by visiting two additional Mayan villages: San Juan La Laguna and Santiago Atitlán, traveling by lancha, the local boat system. San Juan La Laguna is considered one of the more traditional villages around the lake and is off-the-beaten track from most tourist destinations. Thanks to the friendly locals and colorful buildings you’ll get a glimpse of the real Mayan community. You will first visit a local women weavers’ textile cooperative to learn about and participate in the process of ancestral weaving and see how different plants are used to die the fabric with natural colors. Here you will enjoy a traditional local lunch. Following your meal, you will visit an art gallery, where you’ll see the beautiful artworks and learn about the techniques that were used to create them. The final stop in San Juan is another community cooperative producing medicinal plants and herbal products. Here you will learn about traditional Maya healing and how to make organic shampoo, creams, and tea.

The final Mayan village and destination of the Lake Atitlán Tour is Santiago Atitlán, another traditional village that every visitor should see during their stay. Santiago is the capital of the Tz’utujil Maya and the largest of the lake communities. The tour will start with a search for the house where the Maya God Maximon is living, as his location changes every year when a new cofradía or brotherhood has the privilege of taking care of him. Once we find Maximon, you may see local shaman performing rituals for the Mayans. You will then visit the town center and church where you will learn more about the history of this traditional town. We will finish our trip by visiting Santiago’s market and the large arts and crafts scene it offers, then returning to Antigua.

Included

  • All transport (bus and boats)
  • Experienced, bilingual guide
  • Meals: breakfast and lunch on Day 2
  • All tours and workshop/entrance fees

What to bring

  • Clothing, toiletries, and personal items needed for a 2 day excursion
  • Wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes
  • Sun protection (sunscreen, hat)
  • Bottle of water
  • Camera
  • Money for excluded meals and souvenir shopping
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WORRY DOLLS, WOODWORK AND NDG SCHOOL

WORRY DOLLS, WOODWORK & NIÑOS DE GUATEMALA SCHOOL – SAN LORENZO EL CUBO

$25.00 – $35.00

    See the community of San Lorenzo el Cubo and visit a family home where will make our own traditional worry doll, a local furniture carpentry workshop, and Niños de Guatemala’s El Porvenir school.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

DESCRIPTION

WORRY DOLLS, WOODWORK & NIÑOS DE GUATEMALA SCHOOL TOUR:
Visit San Lorenzo el Cubo and discover what everyday life looks like in Guatemala. With our guide, you’ll catch a chicken bus, learn about daily life while walking around San Lorenzo el Cubo, visit Niños de Guatemala elementary school, El Porvenir, and see two important industries of the area: furniture woodwork and worry doll making while making your own worry doll.

San Lorenzo el Cubo, Guatemala
This tour begins with an exciting start: a ride on the colorful and chaotic chicken bus, an experience you cannot miss if you want to understand Guatemalan everyday life. After a short bus ride, you will arrive in San Lorenzo el Cubo. Walking around town, our guide will tell you all about life in San Lorenzo and Guatemala in general on your way to your first destination.

Niños de Guatemala School: El Porvenir
San Lorenzo el Cubo does not provide many opportunities for education. There are only three primary schools – two public schools and Niños de Guatemala’s EL Porvenir school. El Porvenir provides education to nearly 200 children who would otherwise not have been able to go to school. The students attending this school are ages 4 to 12. The school opened in 2012 and graduated its first class in 2017. You will get to tour the school premises, meet the students, and learn more about Niños de Guatemala, our programs and what education is like in Guatemala.

Local Workshops
After learning all about the NGO and the schools, you’ll walk through San Lorenzo el Cubo towards the home of Don Ronny and Doña Rosa. Their three children attend the Niños de Guatemala schools. A common occupation for women in San Lorenzo el Cubo is making worry dolls. Worry dolls or quitapenas are traditional Mayan dolls which Guatemalans put under their pillow when they sleep to get rid of their worries. A meaningful and cute souvenir to bring back home! On this trip, our guide and Doña Rosa will tell you more about the worry dolls’ legend and history while showing you how to make your own, using local materials. Carpentry is another important industry in San Lorenzo el Cubo as well as being Don Ronny’s profession. The furniture workshop is a family owned business where Ronny and his colleagues produce chairs, tables, beds and other household furniture. You will see real Guatemalan craftsmanship here. After these fun and educational visits, you will return to Antigua by chicken bus, with your own handmade worry doll!

Included

  • Transport
  • Local guide
  • All workshop and entrance fees

What to Bring

  • Wear clothing appropriate for a Guatemalan school environment (covered shoulders and legs above the knee)
  • Wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes
  • Sun and rain protection (sunscreen, hat, umbrella or raincoat)
  • Bottle of water
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CHICKEN BUS, WOODWORK AND NDG SCHOOL

CHICKEN BUSES, WOODWORK & NIÑOS DE GUATEMALA SCHOOLS TOUR – CIUDAD VIEJA

$25.00 – $35.00

    Visit the community of Ciudad Vieja and tour a chicken bus refurbishing shop, a family-owned coffin carpentry workshop and Niños de Guatemala’s Nuestro Futuro and Básico schools.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

DESCRIPTION

CHICKEN BUSES, WOODWORK & NIÑOS DE GUATEMALA SCHOOLS TOUR:
Visit Cuidad Vieja and discover what everyday life looks like in Guatemala. With our guide, you’ll catch a chicken bus, visit Niños de Guatemala schools, Nuestro Futuro and Básico, and see two main industries of the town: a chicken bus factory and a coffin carpentry. While walking around Cuidad Vieja, our guide will tell you all about the city, its people and daily life here.

Ciudad Vieja
This tour begins with an exciting start: a ride on the colorful and chaotic chicken bus, an experience you cannot skip when if you want to understand Guatemalan everyday life. After a short bus ride, you will arrive in Ciudad Vieja, one of the former capitals of Guatemala. While walking towards your first destination and passing through the local market, your guide will tell you about this interesting place.

Niños de Guatemala Schools: Nuestro Futuro and Básico
In Ciudad Vieja, you will visit two schools of the NGO: Nuestro Futuro and Básico. Nuestro Futuro is the first primary school of Niños de Guatemala, which opened its doors in 2009. Nearly 200 children, ages 4 to 12, who would otherwise not have been able to go to school attend Nuestro Futuro. You will get to see the school premises, meet the students, and learn more about Niños de Guatemala, our programs and what education is like in Guatemala. After finishing primary school, graduates of Nuestro Futuro and El Porvenir attend secondary school Básico. Opened in 2015, Básico graduated its first class in November of 2017. Here you will learn about additional programs of the organization and the future opportunities for our graduates.

Local Workshops
After learning all about the school, you’ll walk through Ciudad Vieja and visit workshops of the two principal industries here: chicken buses and coffin carpentry. Chicken buses are a common form of transportation in Guatemala. These former U.S. school buses are repaired, modified and decorated locally to fit to the needs of the Guatemalan bus companies. At the workshop, you’ll learn how the buses are transformed and the industry in general. Coffin carpentry is a prominent and important part of life in Ciudad Vieja. At the workshop, you will meet Don Cesar who owns a family coffin-making business. Don Cesar will show you how the coffins are built and decorated according to Guatemalan tradition. You will learn about the use and importance of different colors and other Guatemalan traditions. After these fun and educational visits you will return to Antigua by chicken bus. A good way to observe all that you have just learned about these Guatemalan buses in real life!

Included

  • Transport
  • Local guide
  • All workshop entrances

What to Bring

  • Wear clothing appropriate for a Guatemalan school environment (covered shoulders and legs above the knee)
  • Wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes
  • Sun and rain protection (sunscreen, hat, umbrella or raincoat)
  • Bottle of water
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ANTIGUA HISTORIC WALKING TOUR

ANTIGUA HISTORIC WALKING TOUR – ANTIGUA, GUATEMALA

$25.00 – $35.00

    Explore Antigua with a local! Learn about the city’s history as well as daily life here now. We’ll visit Cerro de la Cruz and Antigua’s most emblematic churches, monuments and buildings as well as the handicraft and local markets.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

DESCRIPTION

ANTIGUA HISTORIC WALKING TOUR:
Antigua is filled with special and beautiful places, come explore the best of them with a local! Colonial churches, monuments and historic buildings are scattered throughout the city. Our local guide will show you all the best spots on a walking tour to the Cerro de la Cruz, through the beautiful streets of Antigua, and to the most emblematic place of this city. You’ll learn about Antigua’s rich history as well as daily life here now.

Cerro de la Cruz
The first stop on our walking tour is Antigua’s famous viewpoint: Cerro de la Cruz, offering a fantastic panoramic view of the city. Here you’ll learn about Antigua’s history as the third capital city of the Spanish government and the impact this left behind. You’ll be able to take some beautiful shots of Antigua from above, with volcanoes Agua, Fuego, and Acatenango in the background.

Walking Tour
After seeing the city from above, we will walk back through Antigua’s beautiful streets and visit the famous and important places in Antigua, including churches, ruins, monuments, the local market, the central park and more. Important highlights of the walking tour include the famous La Merced Church and the Arco de Santa Catalina. During the tour our guide will tell you much more about the rich history and culture of Antigua and its beautiful buildings as well as what life is like here for locals nowadays.

Included

  • Local guide
  • Entrance fees

What to bring

  • Wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes
  • Sun and rain protection (sunscreen, hat, umbrella or raincoat)
  • Bottle of water
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IMPACT COFFEE WORKSHOP

COFFEE & CHOCOLATE TOUR – SAN LORENZO EL CUBO

$25.00 – $35.00

    • Visit a woman-owned, small-batch coffee plantation in San Lorenzo el Cubo to learn about Guatemala’s coffee history and the coffee and chocolate producing processes while enjoying
    delicious cups of coffee and chocolate!

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

DESCRIPTION

COFFEE & CHOCOLATE TOUR:
Coffee from Guatemala is world-renowned and you can’t leave Antigua without experiencing a coffee tour. Our Coffee and Chocolate Tour takes you to San Lorenzo el Cubo to visit a local, woman-owned small-batch coffee business. You’ll meet Carmen, the owner, who will guide you through the coffee process, from tree to cup.

San Lorenzo el Cubo and Niños de Guatemala School: El Porvenir
The Coffee and Chocolate Tour begins with an exciting start: a ride on the colorful and chaotic chicken bus, an experience you cannot skip if you want to understand Guatemalan everyday life. After a short bus ride, you will arrive in San Lorenzo el Cubo. Walking around town, our guide will tell you all about life in San Lorenzo and Guatemala in general. In San Lorenzo el Cubo Niños de Guatemala’s EL Porvenir primary school provides education to nearly 200 children who would otherwise not have been able to go to school. You will get to tour the school premises, meet the students, and learn more about Niños de Guatemala, our programs and what education is like in Guatemala.

Coffee Plantation
At El Porvenir, you will meet Carmen, a local coffee business owner that will take you to her family’s traditional Guatemalan coffee plantation where you’ll learn about the plantation, the coffee production process and its history in Guatemala. After touring the coffee fields, you will learn how to clean, roast, grind, and brew coffee at Carmen’s house. While enjoying a delicious cup of coffee, Carmen will tell you more about her story and daily life in Guatemala.

Traditional Guatemalan Artisan Chocolate
At Carmen’s house, you will also learn how to make traditional Guatemalan chocolate, a popular drink with a rich history. This is the second product that is produced and sold by Carmen’s family. She’ll explain and demonstrate the production process while you enjoy a cup. If you wish, you can buy coffee and homemade Guatemalan chocolate from Carmen to support her family business.

Included

  • Transport
  • Local guide
  • Coffee and chocolate tastings

What to bring

  • Wear clothing appropriate for a rural Guatemalan community (covered shoulders and legs above the knee)
  • Wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes
  • Sun and rain protection (sunscreen, hat, umbrella or raincoat)
  • Bottle of water
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